A new perspective on motherhood

2016-04-16_183301993_89621_iOSI’ve been so blessed in my life to have such a strong and wonderful mother. Growing up, my mom modeled what it meant to truly put others before yourself and what true joy, dedication and commitment looks like.

While my relationship with my own mother has changed – I have a wife to cling to now in my most vulnerable times – I am continually impressed with how so much of who I am as a person has been shaped by my mom’s influence.

For the past eight years I have gotten to see my mother through a different perspective as she’s become a grandmother to my niece, Ella, and my nephew, Ezra. But on October 14, I got to see my mom and motherhood in an even different light when our son, Owen, introduced himself to the world.

Before Owen was born I knew there was no way to prepare myself or to understand what being a father would be like. I still don’t really know how to fully comprehend it, but I’ve discovered a whole new appreciation for my mom – particularly in her strength and relentless pursuit of ensuring that I had everything I needed to grow up a healthy and well-adjusted individual.

I’ve discovered this by observing my mom with my son but even more so in seeing Sara grow into her role as mom.

Those who have known Sara a long time aren’t surprised to see how nurturing and absolutely in love and attached she is to Owen. From the time she was little with her “babies,” through to college and grad school with the little ones she would watch, Sara has looked forward to the season in which we find ourselves.

I get emotional just trying to describe the love Sara has for our son. Seeing her face light up when she sees him after a long day at work says it all.

I like to say that being a dad is easy. We get to do a lot of the fun stuff and get credit and praised for everything we do. Being a mom on the other hand, particularly one as determined as Sara was to make breastfeeding work, involves a ton of work. There are late-night feedings and pumping, long breaks in the work day to pump, etc. And that’s not even talking about the birth.

Owen and I are truly the luckiest guys in the world to have Sara.

I am so humbled and grateful to have found a woman with the same passion and commitment of my own mother whose wisdom, love and experience (she is the queen of getting Owen to burp) has been invaluable in these first seven months of Owen’s life. I would be remiss to not mention the other mom in my life too, my mom-in-law, Deb. For the sacrifices she made raising Sara, for the many ways she modeled motherhood and for how she has loved and cared for me even through the struggles in our marriage, I will be forever grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day to the three moms in my life, Sara (Mama), Mama Ralph (Mo) and Mom-in-Law (Nona)! Owie and I love you so so so so much.

Owen David

2015-10-17 11.15.39“Suddenly everything has changed.”

Our little boy, Owen, was born on Wednesday, October 14, at 9:06 a.m. at LifeCycle WomanCare in Bryn Mawr. He was so excited about celebrating his parents’ birthdays on the 7th and 13th he decided to come three weeks early, but he doesn’t like to be called a premie because he was 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

Words really can’t describe the change that instantly took place in my heart when I saw him take his first breath or the horror Sara and I both felt on that first night tripping over each other to check that he was still breathing.

We’ve both taken well so far to this parenting thing and are very much attached to Baby Owen – leaving him even to go to Giant has been so emotional. It’s all pretty wild, this little guy whose captured our hearts. I’m overwhelmed by the thought that my love for him is only a small window into what God’s love looks like and understand even better the love my parents have for me, my brothers(and their now three grandchildren.

I also know that this joy we feel is a stark contrast to the pain and sorrow others we know who have struggled to get pregnant, battled through health complications or have lost their babies have felt. My heart breaks for them as I’m reminded this morning of the lyrics to a Sara Groves song off her latest album – “These stretches of joy, these patches of sorrow. There’s enough for today; they’ll be enough tomorrow.”

Bomb-proof love

“This is the love you have been looking for all your life. This is the only love that can’t let you down. This is bomb-proof love. Not friend-love, not personal acclaim, not married love, and not even romantic love — it is this love that you are after, underneath all your pursuit of those others. And if this love of active obedience is an active reality in your life, you will be a person of integrity; you will be a person of prayer; you will be kind to people who mistreat you. If you have this love, you will be a little more like him. Look at him dying in the dark for you. Let it melt you into his likeness.”

-Timothy Keller, Encounters With Jesus